In 2008, Hollywood Undead set the music world on fire with their platinum album “Swan Songs” and a new genre-bending sound that blended rock, hip-hop, industrial, and alternative sounds into a hybrid all their own. The band’s success story has continued over the years with their total number of streams reaching over one billion and collaborating with some of the best artist on the planet like B-Real of Cypress Hill and Jonathan Davis of Korn to name a few. 2020 is shaping up to be another stellar year for Hollywood Undead with the release of their latest album “New Empire, Vol. 1.”
For the first time in their career, the band used one producer for the entire album with Matt Good (Sleeping with Sirens, Asking Alexandria) at the helm and allowed themselves plenty of time to write and record. In fact, so much new material arose from their sessions that in addition to this album a Vol. 2 will be released sometime in the near future. The result of their efforts signal a new beginning for the band with deeper themes and lyrical content with plenty of raw emotion. It’s a gutsy move as “New Empire, Vol.1” rocks harder and heavier than anything the band has ever done before but one that will definitely pay off as after one listen you can tell Hollywood Undead is at the top of their creative game.
The album opener “Time Bomb” is a buzzing industrial track, a heavy reflection on what’s going on in the world today while the lead single “Already Dead” features some eerie keyboards and a rock heavy sound with lyrics that pack a punch, “you can’t kill me ’cause I’m already dead.” The album also has some guest appearances with Kellin Quinn lending a hand on “Upside Down” and Benji Madden collaborating on “Second Chances.” A frenzied pace drives the song “Enemy” and “Killin’ It” has some of that old school feel to it. My favorite track was the album closer, “Nightmare.” The song starts off with a soft beat and toned down vocals but really grows into a fierce lyric and will keep you guessing all the way through. To me, that song really showcases everything that Hollywood Undead excels at.
“”New Empire, Vol. 1” really opens up a new chapter for Hollywood Undead as they move into uncharted waters and dive into some heavier songs that will have you thinking as well as rocking.